What makes Yarnton Manor such a special venue?
Its incredible history, the beautiful surroundings and the flexibility that we can offer our couples. We’re only three minute’s drive from the A34, but as soon as you enter these grounds you step back in time 400 years. Our approach at Yarnton Manor is completely driven by what couples want from this space, rather than ‘selling’ a standard set of options. We have lots of choices for ceremony locations, both indoor and outdoor, so there’s always a spot that suits our couples’ vision.
What makes the perfect outdoor celebration at Yarnton?
The 7 acres of gardens here are stunning and are gradually being returned to their former glory under the watchful eye of Robin Lane Fox. The restored back lawn and the gardens to the front of the manor have been two years in the making and now offer seasonal colour from February to October. Outdoor ceremonies can take place in the summer house or set against the stone archway of the back lawn and we have space for croquet, marquees, chill out tipis and even a game of rounders if you’re feeling energetic!.
How do you make the best of the unpredictable British weather?.
Always have a back-up plan!. We love whatever the weather brings, but always have a plan B in place if the wind whips up or the rain comes down. We discuss this with our couples ahead of the event, so that there are no surprises and always make sure that we can accommodate the full party indoors.
Describe your vision for a beautiful naming ceremony in the gardens.
It would be a day of warmth and love, involving as many of our treasured family and friends as possible. I’d invite all the little ones to get dressed up in their favourite costumes and we’d have picnic hampers and blankets on the back lawn. We’d celebrate all the people that we love and plant a tree in the orchard to return to year after year as it grows.
Even the best laid plans go adrift. What’s the craziest problem you’ve had to solve on the day?.
The bride turned up four hours late!. The bride was travelling to the church in a vintage car which broke down along the way and the replacement car got stranded in traffic. The vicar that was marrying the couple couldn’t wait, so there was nothing for it other than to stick to the plan and celebrate!. The bride skyped the groom from the wedding car and when she and her Dad finally made it, there was one huge party. A week later the couple were married at the register office and the most amazing wedding story was complete!.
What gives you joy outside of work?.
My family. I’m a country girl at heart and when I get some down time, I love for us to get our wellies on a go for a long walk together.
Lemon drizzle, sticky toffee or red velvet?.
Lemon drizzle all the way, because you can eat a lot of it without feeling sick!.
Michelle’s 3 top tips for a wonderful family celebration:
Quite simple really. Eat … drink … and be merry. That pretty much covers all the bases!.
Bluebell Naming Ceremonies – Creating beautiful, bespoke celebrations to welcome a new child into a family’s life.
Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Cotswolds.